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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I finally got around to changing my spark plugs on my Soul. Yeah, I was 30k miles past the schedule but being that the car is out of warranty and was running fine, frankly I didn't care enough to drop everything and do it. But since I've had the plugs sitting on the work bench for 6 months and I was home for the holiday, ok what the hell.

1. Easy job. Pull the plastic cover (snaps in place, no screws), unbolt each coil pack with a 10mm socket and pull the plug with a spark plug socket. Whole job took me 10 minutes start to end.

2. Noticed absolutely no difference in gap or wear between the old plugs and the new plugs. I'll see how it feels when I take it to work this week but I expect nothing different. I think I could have gone another 50k on these plugs.

Plugs 1-4, top to bottom (or left to right) in the picture.
 

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Nice JD. What kind of plugs? Iridium is what my OM suggests.

I've read not to gap them anymore. What was your experience with that?

Also, did you just hand tighten to "feel," or torque to a spec?

Thanks for all the info & pics too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice JD. What kind of plugs? Iridium is what my OM suggests.

I've read not to gap them anymore. What was your experience with that?

Also, did you just hand tighten to "feel," or torque to a spec?

Thanks for all the info & pics too.
Sure thing. I used my "calibrated arm" for torque 🙂 . I have several torque wrenches, but after 30+ years of wrenching on cars I have a pretty good feel for stuff like that that's not dire, vs. stuff like a cylinder head bolt that stretches, gets buried and can cause serious damage if it's off. Worse thing here would have me going back in to do a slight tight if I started noticing any stumbles or misfires.

As for the gap: I used a wire gapper to compare but didn't mess with it like the old time electrode ones - that point is tiny and would be nothing to snap off. I put each plug head to head with the old one as it came out also and they all looked right. I used iridium plugs as well. I used Autolites because the day I bought them they were out of NGKs, which is what I would have used otherwise. These were about half the price and I expect them to be dead in 30-50k miles, but we shall see. Perhaps I'll save the old ones and put them back if these die quickly 😄
 

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Dang, thanks for the information JD. It sounds like a pretty straightforward job.

I was thinking of picking up one of those cheapy boroscopes at Amazon and looking down there for the notorious carbon buildup monster. Haha. "Fact, fiction or somewhere in between?"

I have to tell you, good job on 135,000 miles on your factory plugs. You must treat your cars right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dang, thanks for the information JD. It sounds like a pretty straightforward job.

I was thinking of picking up one of those cheapy boroscopes at Amazon and looking down there for the notorious carbon buildup monster. Haha. "Fact, fiction or somewhere in between?"

I have to tell you, good job on 135,000 miles on your factory plugs. You must treat your cars right.
Thanks :) I've never been too hard on anything. I guess that comes from growing up so poor that if you broke it, that was it. So you either took care of your crap or you didn't have anything. My granddaughter (13) remarked that she thought my Soul was brand new compared to either my wife's or my daughters, both of which are far less miles than mine. That made me smile :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:

Well, it turns out new spark plugs after 135k miles are a good thing. :D

I got gas this morning as my tank was almost empty (car's been sitting since before Memorial Day holiday). As I was leaving the gas station I thought "Hey, they must have gotten a real good tank in, this gas is really smooth". It took me about 20 minutes of driving thinking that I had got a great tank of gas before I remembered I changed the spark plugs :stupid: . So it wasn't a placebo effect.

Hard to explain what was better about the plugs - it wasn't more power, it was just the absence of little things like a stumble at the stop sign, some early pinging on the hill climbs, etc. The car ran smoother than I can remember today, which means it probably ran about close to when it was new. When you've been driving something every day for 7 years and this many miles you tend to forget how things were and just get used to some of the things as the car ages. A couple of times when I was waiting at a light it was so quiet I thought it might have stalled.

So I'll have to drive it for a couple of weeks and try to notice things like the load when I turn on the AC, some of the hard mountain climbs, etc. and see if some of the pre-det that I had started to notice has gone away. I had just assumed that I was building carbon in the combustion chambers, but I didn't scope the engine or anything like that. Maybe the plugs were slowly deteriorating to the point where they still worked but just worked less effectively. I'll post back here in a few weeks after I've had a chance to put a couple thousand miles on the new plugs.
 
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jdmartin
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